Journal Article

Metabolic correlates of subthalamic nucleus activity in Parkinson's disease

Tanya P. Lin, Maren Carbon, Chengke Tang, Alon Y. Mogilner, Djordje Sterio, Aleksandar Beric, Vijay Dhawan and David Eidelberg

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 131, issue 5, pages 1373-1380
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI:
Metabolic correlates of subthalamic nucleus activity in Parkinson's disease

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Overactivity of subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons is a consistent feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) and is a target of therapy for this disorder. However, the relationship of STN firing rate to regional brain function is not known. We scanned 17 PD patients with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET to measure resting glucose metabolism before the implantation of STN deep brain stimulation electrodes. Spontaneous STN firing rates were recorded during surgery and correlated with preoperative regional glucose metabolism on a voxel-by-voxel basis. We also examined the relationship between firing rate and the activity of metabolic brain networks associated with the motor and cognitive manifestations of the disease. Mean firing rates were 47.2 ± 6.1 and 48.7 ± 8.5 Hz for the left and right hemispheres, respectively. These measures correlated (P < 0.007) with glucose metabolism in the putamen and globus pallidus, which receive projections from this structure. Significant correlations (P < 0.0005) were also evident in the primary motor (BA4) and dorsolateral prefrontal (BA46/10) cortical areas. The activity of both the motor (P < 0.0001) and the cognitive (P < 0.006) PD-related metabolic networks was elevated in these patients. STN firing rates correlated with the activity of the former (P < 0.007) but not the latter network (P = 0.39). The findings suggest that the functional pathways associated with motor disability in PD are linked to the STN firing rate. These pathways are likely to mediate the clinical benefit that is seen following targeted STN interventions for this disease.

Keywords: subthalamic nucleus; Parkinson's disease; brain metabolism

Journal Article.  4964 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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